Project

St. Schreber

Goal: A study of the relation of mysticism and psychosis in the case of Daniel Paul Schreber.

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Project log

Michael Uebel
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People with schizophrenia have marked emotional and relational difficulties, such as those with eye contact where there is a markedly strong tendency to avoid looking frontally at others appears when occupying a shared space with strangers. A prominent feature of emotional dysregulation in schizophrenia is clinically evident in blunted affect, often observed as reduced emotional expressivity alongside the individual's report of normal or heightened emotional experience. This study uses a combination of qualitative and quantitative approaches in order to explore a crucial, largely unexamined, aspect of the embodied experience of emotions: the front-back axis of the body image in its association with positive or negative emotional words (e. g., Joy, Pleasure, Tenderness, Anger, Anxiety, Fear, and so on). We demonstrate that this spatial axis (front-back) of the body image constitutes two principal emotional narratives. One views the front of the body as conflictual and dangerous, and the other apprehends the back as more reassuring, pleasurable and calming. This kind of emotional narrative, conceptualized within Conceptual Metaphor Theory, explains the findings.
Michael Uebel
added a research item
This presentation looks at how the space of the 19th- and 20th-century asylum shapes (and unshapes) the artistic creativity of institutionalized psychotic and neurasthenic patients. The architecture of the asylums was considered integral and essential to curing “madness” (Topp, Moran & Andrews, 2007; Yanni, 2007), and this presentation will examine how the built environment contributed to the structures and themes of two institutionalized patients, Adolf Wölfli (1864-1930) and Martin Ramirez (1895-1963). While focusing on the work of Wölfli and Ramirez, other drawings and paintings from psychotic artists will be shown as points of comparison and to support a fuller look at the principal themes emerging: how the divisions between sanity/insanity, freedom/confinement, privacy/the public, and creativity/destruction are negotiated by patients, their treating clinicians, and the architects of the environment in which they lived. References: Topp, L., Moran, J. E., & Andrews, J. (Eds.) (2007). Madness, architecture and the built environment: Psychiatric spaces in historical context. New York: Routledge. Yanni, C. (2007). The Architecture of madness: Insane asylums in the United States. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. Disclosure: Do you have any relevant financial relationships with commercial interests? NO Do you receive any financial or other support from any entity that relates to the material you are presenting? NO
Michael Uebel
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Peter Sloterdijk's 3-volume study Spheres is a crucial resource.
 
Michael Uebel
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Michael Uebel
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A study of the relation of mysticism and psychosis in the case of Daniel Paul Schreber.